Friday’s Sports In Brief

NFL

DALLAS (AP) Jim Garrett, the father of Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and a longtime scout for the club, has died. He was 87.

The team said Jim Garrett died Friday night with his wife, Jane, and his eight children by his side.

The elder Garrett first joined the Cowboys as a scout in 1968 and spent 36 of the next 38 years coaching or scouting in the NFL, including the last 17 of his career with the Cowboys. He wrote the original scouting report on Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, the No. 1 pick in the 1989 draft.

Jim Garrett was part of four Super Bowl teams in Dallas, including the championship teams from the 1992, 1993 and 1995 seasons. He was an assistant with the New York Giants, New Orleans and Cleveland.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg wants to make a historic neighborhood in Tampa the next home of the perennially low-drawing team, which wants to shift across the bay from St. Petersburg.

Sternberg said at a news conference that the Rays will focus their new ballpark search on the east side of the bay at a 14-acre site in Ybor City, just north of Ybor Channel.

It’s the first time the team has publicly stated its preference for Tampa over St. Petersburg, its home since the franchise started play in 1998.

Sternberg and baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred say Tropicana Field, the last fixed dome stadium in the major leagues, is inadequate. Tampa Bay drew a major league-low 1.25 million fans last year, including the team’s smallest crowd ever at the ballpark on the west side of the bay, 6,509 against Minnesota on Sept. 5.

Also Friday, a local businessman announced the formation of the Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization and campaign to help gain support for the project from the public and business community.

The timeline of such a project is unclear. A new ballpark likely will cost more than $700 million.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. is hopeful he will be cleared to return to practice from lower back surgery next week, providing a boost for a Tigers team aiming to reach the NCAA Tournament.

The 6-foot-10 Porter, the top prep prospect in the country last season, played in only two minutes of the Tigers’ season-opening win over Iowa State before having surgery in November.

Porter averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior in high school in Washington, and he was a McDonald’s All-American after signing with Missouri.

He was expected to miss the rest of this season after the procedure, called a microdisetomy, but he’s hoping to be cleared to return during a doctor’s visit next week.

”My rehab therapist things I’m good to go with practice except for the contact part,” Porter said. ”I’m hoping that the doctor clears me to do everything, contact included. That’s what I would love to hear, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to me to work hard and to the doctor to tell me I’m ready to go.”

Porter said he has been watching closely how the Tigers play, and that he would need only a few practices to be ready to return.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State quarterback Kyle Kempt has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA.

The Cyclones announced the NCAA’s decision on Friday, saying the governing body granted Kempt an extension of eligibility after considering the totality of the circumstances surrounding his transfer from Oregon State and Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.

Kempt became an unlikely starter for the Cyclones midway through last season after Jacob Park left the team. Kempt started off his career with a 38-31 win at then-No. 3 Oklahoma and finished with a 66.3 percent completion rate, the best in school history.

Kempt was 161-of-243 passing for 1,787 yards and 15 touchdowns in just nine games.

WINTER OLYMPICS

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Two-time U.S. figure skating champion Gracie Gold has decided to transition into coaching, and will join the coaching staff at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.

Gold was part of the American team that won the bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The 22-year-old Gold announced in September that she was stepping away from the sport to seek help for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. She withdrew from her Grand Prix assignments and decided to skip nationals, ending any chance of her competing at the Pyeongchang Games.

Gold had struggled after finishing fourth at worlds in 2016. Her best finish was fifth at Skate America later that year, and she was sixth at the 2017 national championships.